posted on May, 5 2005 @ 02:53 PM
Warren Buffett, the world's second richest man (2nd to Bill Gates), in a rare interview, expounds on reforms in corporate America, trade deficit and
"There's no question in my mind the number one problem of mankind is the spread of nuclear knowledge," said Buffett
..."It should be at the top of the list for our government."
"We exported $1.1 trillion and imported over $1.7 trillion and we are running up obligations to the rest of the world and they are buying our
assets at the rate of $2 billion per day and that will have consequences," he said.
"If we keep doing what we're doing now and show no sign of slowing down, the world will own a greater percentage of this country 10 years from
Buffett noted that the ballooning trade and budget deficits should be rectified before the President attempts to tackle Social Security reform.
He also noted that he didn't understand why the President was spending so much time dealing with a problem so far down the road when the current
budget deficit is four times the potential Social Security shortfall.
"I just don't find things that are undervalued," he said, indicating that market securities or junk bonds might be potential investments for
Berkshire Hathaway. "I'm not happy with 40 billion but one way or another I think we'll manage to invest it."
"We'll find out what has taken place. Some things that were actually legal a few years ago will probably be found to be distasteful. There
will be things that are found that were probably be illegal. But there's nothing wrong with looking at the insurance industry," he said.
Buffett, worth $44 billion, advocated that a potential solution to the budget deficit is to increase taxes on corporations and the rich, like
"Corporate America is not suffering, I'll put it that way," he said. "Corporations are doing better in the total tax picture than the people I'll
walk by on the street out here."
Buffet would also increase taxes on the rich to pump cash into Social Security.
"I personally would increase the taxable base above the present ninety thousand. I pay very, very little in the way of social security taxes because
I make a lot more than ninety thousand and the people in my office pay the full tax." said Buffett.
In fact, Buffet would forfeit all his social security benefits and believes that the rich should follow suit, "I get a check for $1,700 or $1900 or
something every month, I'm 74, and I cash it but I'll eat without it." He continued, "The rich people would pay more, rich people are doing so
well in this country - we've never had it so good."
"I think it's a terrific country - you never want to go short on America," he said at the end of the interview session. "The threat is real
but in this country our children and grandchildren are going to look better than we do - no question in my mind."
Buffett is as business savvy as they come. I found his current perspectives on issues rather interesting.